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Pietersen's offer was a joke: Warne

January 09, 2009 12:40 IST

Australian spin legend Shane Warne said he is not interested in any full-time job and the offer he received from Kevin Pietersen to take over as the new England coach was actually a joke.

The retired leg-spinner, who was Pietersen's captain at Hampshire, threw his weight behind the England batsman who resigned from the captain's post following a fallout with coach Peter Moores, who was sacked after the feud.

Reacting to media reports saying that Pietersen had sounded him out for the job after the fallout with Moores, Warne said it was a joke and he is not in game for any full-time job.

"Yes, KP [Pietersen] dipped his toe in the water jokingly, but usually the names put forward come from a mix of informed speculation and sheer guesswork. According to some reports, I am in the frame to follow Peter Moores. This is a good opportunity to set the record straight.

"At this stage, I have a full book. I have enjoyed coaching and managing the Rajasthan Royals, but that is for a couple of months a year. I could not give a full-time position the time required to do the job properly. In any case, following a team around the world is what I have given up. If that is what I wanted, I would still be a player," Warne wrote in his column for The Times.

But in case the offer is too good, Warne added, he might consider it.

"But - and we all have this 'but' in life - if an offer comes that sounds too good to be true, I would have to stop and think," added the Australian.

Warne believes England do need an Australian for the job and the ideal candidate is not him but Darren Lehmann.

"To me, England do need somebody from outside their set-up to take an objective view and bring in a few ideas. He also needs to understand the English system and way of playing. I'd like to throw in the name of an Australian who would do a really good job: not S K Warne, but Darren Lehmann.

"As a player he did wonders for Yorkshire and had the respect of everyone. Now he has moved into coaching. He would be great at installing confidence right across the board, through the players, the ECB, sponsors, supporters ... everybody," Warne said.

Warne said he is 'amazed' to find English cricket in "total disarray" and repeated his firm belief that the captain should run the show.

"The balance between captain and coach should be simple: the captain runs the show and the coach is there in the background.

"There should have been more support for KP. I believe he should have stayed and Moores gone. From what I have seen and heard, Moores did not have the respect of a number of players. If it is true that Michael Vaughan was not picked for the tour to the West Indies when KP wanted him, then the selectors made the wrong decision," said Warne.

Warne said Pietersen's temperament should not be questioned and predicted a backlash from the maverick batsman.

"People have to understand the nature of the beast and they should have known the character of KP when they appointed him. We all know he has a massive ego. He needs to be 'The Man'.

"At the same time, I think that teams are in for a Pietersen backlash. Anybody who thinks he will lose interest and sulk does not know the guy. He will be more determined than ever to prove himself the No 1 batsman in the world," he said.

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